Author Topic: The 'other' subways  (Read 2270 times)

The Captain

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The 'other' subways
« on: August 02, 2014, 06:30:47 pm »
Here is a picture the "Forgotten Subway" the one that used to run under the railway sidings to the coal tips. It was accessed down a fairly steep set of steps at the bottom of the path down from the 'Billy Banks'. This was the way me and my friends usually got into the docks as you were far less likely to be spotted. In this picture lots of fly-tipping has already taken place, and the steps and subway entrance are slowly disappearing under a pile of rubbish.
Incidentally this tunnel was lined with white glazed tiles, and in many peoples memories of the nearby Ely Subway which you read, they mention the white glazed tiles. Most people must be confusing these two subways in their memories, as the Ely Subway itself never had any white glazed tiles, apart from in the ticket office. The rings in that tunnel were bare cast iron. The subway pictured however was lined throughout with the white tiles and this is probably where the confusion stems from?
There is in fact a third subway! Part of which can still be seen. It ran under the main Penarth railway line just east of Penarth Dock Station connecting Cogan with Price Bros Timber Merchants. It was blocked many, many years ago, but if you can get behind the present day Penarth Motor Company premises on Windsor Rd, just behind the lean to where they jet wash engines. You will see the top of the yellow brick arch of the subway filled with concrete blocks below. The Tesco Store side has long since been buried. I will try and get a picture for future posting here.

Mutant Dock Rat

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Re: The 'other' subways
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2014, 08:36:30 pm »
Thank you Captain.

I show a map of the location of the second subway on page http://www.penarth-dock.org.uk/05_02_01_03.html with a similar description. I recall this subway and entering with my apprentcie mate, Bill Muir, probably in 1966. It was partially full of rubbish then and difficult to get through. The pathway up to Paget Road was used quite often to get our lunchtime fish and chips in Glebe Street.

The other subway you mention nearby Penarth Dock station is completely new to me. It would be good to have more information about the route of this and its purpose. Looking again at the OS map of c.1880 I see a second entry to the docks - see attched map. Position "A" is the former roadway under the railways entrance to the dock and position "B" is an entry which is long gone. Is this the yellow brick arch referred too by the Captain?

Many thanks and regards . . .  Ratty

The Captain

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Re: The 'other' subways
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2014, 07:33:25 pm »
Yes position 'B' is about the right place. On the map just North East of the Penarth line can be seen the site of three cottages. These were on the former Penarth Dock Road. The cottages were demolished when the TVR built their locomotive depot on the site. The road was closed in 1878 and a subway built in it's place under the then new railway line to Penarth Town (The yellow brick arch I referred to originally, is now what remains of this subway). A new access to the docks was constructed at the same time and this is what you see at position 'A'.

Mutant Dock Rat

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Re: The 'other' subways
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2014, 12:14:44 pm »
That is interesting. May I ask how you know the road was closed in 1878? Also do you have any pictures to show please? I'll look for more information about this entry to the docks. Many thanks  . . . Ratty

The Captain

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Re: The 'other' subways
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2014, 05:12:21 pm »
I was passing the Penarth Motor Company this afternoon and took the opportunity to pop in and get these pictures of the third subway. The pictures aren't very good as I only had my mobile phone camera. As can be seen the entrance is now gated off, but the big stones of the original archway can be seen beyond a concrete roof beam put in to strengthen the track bed here. The subway has been filled with what appear to be concrete sleeper blocks of the type often found in railway sidings.
A lot of useful information can be found in "Place Names of Penarth" an excellent read by local historian Alan Thorne.

Mutant Dock Rat

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Re: The 'other' subways
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2014, 08:04:48 am »
Thank you for the pictures - these witness remnants bring to story to life for me.

I don't have Mr Thorne's book but I'll look out for it.

Many thanks . . . Ratty

Mutant Dock Rat

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Re: The 'other' subways
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2014, 08:05:27 pm »
I read somewhere that yellow brick was made somewhere in the Penarth area. Cogan brick was made from locally quaried red marl and I believe the Llandough or Leckwith brickworks also used red marl clay.

Dinas Powys had a brick works. I used to explore the large kiln and ride my bike through.

The garden workshop my Dad built, which is still there in Murch Road, so far as I am aware, was made from the offcuts of elm which came from the sawmill next to the brickworks. That later relocated a hundred yards or so away adjacent to the railway line. I used to visit that as well and talk to the workers as they sawed the logs through and through using a large horizontal reciprocating sawing machine and then make up coffins in the beautifully grained elm. Now the best coffins are made of chipboard with a printed paper wood effect. One of my favorite songs by the ageing rock group 'Asia' is 'Bury me in Willow, not in Oak'!

So the query is, where was yellow brick made locally in the mid to late nineteenth century?

Regards  . . .  Ratty

Mutant Dock Rat

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Re: The 'other' subways
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2014, 10:44:14 am »
I found a reference to yellow brick manufactured at Penarth Ridge quarries. Where is this and who, what, when, etc ?? . . . . Ratty

KnockJohn

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Re: The 'other' subways
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2014, 12:09:32 pm »
Prompted by this thread, I did a little search - According to the Civic Trust for Wales http://civictrustwales.wordpress.com/2014/02/17/sense/ Yellow, Red and Blue bricks all ame from Cogan.

Mutant Dock Rat

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Re: The 'other' subways
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2014, 06:05:17 pm »
Thank you KnockJohn - I didn't know that. Clearly, I need to understand more about the 19th century brick making procesess. Regards  . . . Ratty

KnockJohn

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Re: The 'other' subways
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2014, 09:29:16 am »
Aha,  I think I have found the definitive article on brickmaking and colour.  Although this is focused on Brighton, the methods and composition/chemistry of the colour of the final brick.  http://rth.org.uk/building-regency-houses/building-crafts-skills/brick-making it's an interesting read with further links at the bottom.

Mutant Dock Rat

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Re: The 'other' subways
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2014, 11:49:32 am »
Ah - all is revealed. The website says:

"The colour of brick is determined by several factors including the fuel used to fire the bricks and the levels of oxygen available in the clamp during the firing process, however, the most important factor is the chemical composition of the clay. The chemical which most commonly effects the colour of brick is iron oxide, which usually gives the brick a red colour. Blue is produced when iron oxide is present in very high quantities, while if limestone and chalk are added to iron contaminated clay it produces a buff or yellowish colour. If there is little or no iron or other oxides present in the clay it fires to a white colour. Yellow bricks are produced if magnesium oxide is the principle contaminate in the clay."

Most informative - thanks to Knockjohn - regards  . . . . Ratty

Mutant Dock Rat

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Re: The 'other' subways
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2014, 09:28:53 pm »
I found an article on the opening of the extension of the dock in 1884 within the Western Mail archives which relates to the subway under the railway and the entrance. I can't quite visualise the description of the bridge - I think its the entrance behind Penarth Motor Co. but it refers to Radyr stone not yellow brick. Any helpers please?

In addition to the new sidings a subway has been made under the old lines for the purpose of accommodating the workmen living at Penarth who are employed at the dock and saving them the trouble of climbing over the lines and the exposure to danger which would otherwise be entailed upon them.

A new diversion of the main dock road is almost completed, and when the approval of the authorities has been obtained it will be immediately opened to the public. The road diverts from the main one near the top of the exceedingly steep and dangerous pitch leading down into Cogan, and after crossing a massive and elegant bridge which spans the road leading under the railway to the dock it leads past the front of the station, and joins the main road again just outside. This bridge is a fine structure, of what is known as the skew kind, built, like the walls of the dock, of Radyr stone, and consisting of 1,500 yards of masonry. The archway is 23ft. in width, and the roadway above 40 ft.


The full artcle is on page http://www.penarth-dock.org.uk/01_07_07.html

Regards to all . . . . Ratty

KnockJohn

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Re: The 'other' subways
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2014, 10:30:00 am »
I had to read this several times to make sure.....

The road entrance to the docks is and the bridge is described here http://www.rcts.org.uk/features/mysteryphotos/show.htm?location=Penarth%20Docks%20Stn.&img=B-66-18 and here http://www.penarthtowncouncil.gov.uk/Core/Penarth-Town-Council/Pages/Town_Trail_No8_10.aspx The subway may have been the one here or the one further along the docks which we discussed at the begining of the thread.